CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

Gov. Ralph Northam's office said it would welcome an "outside investigation" into questions surrounding the preparation and release of a watchdog report about the Virginia Parole Board's mishandling of a controversial parole case last year. The Northam administration has insisted it was unaware of a longer, more accusatory version of...
Throughout Gov. Ralph Northam’s tumultuous term as Virginia’s 73rd governor, he has benefited during his lowest moments by the perception that while he might be a bit bumbling and slow on the draw, his heart was in the right place. Hating on the amiable 61-year-old country doctor with a disarming...
Lawmakers in the Virginia House and Senate voted Saturday to legalize recreational marijuana beginning in 2024, but opted to delay key decisions about how the new marketplace will operate until next year. “This moves us in a direction to strike down and address institutional barriers, over policing, over arrests and...
Virginia lawmakers sent legislation to Gov. Ralph Northam Friday that for the first time will provide a path to seal past criminal convictions, records lawmakers and advocates say can make it impossible for people to rebuild their lives. "Millions of Virginians with criminal histories will gain the ability to potentially...
The controversy surrounding the Virginia Parole Board has centered largely around the case of Vincent Martin, a man freed last year at 64 after serving more than 40 years in prison for murdering a Richmond police officer in 1979. Martin’s release drew outsized attention due to complaints from law enforcement...
With a Saturday deadline approaching, state lawmakers in the House and Senate are still working to resolve differences over landmark legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana in Virginia. As of Thursday evening, it was unclear whether the two chambers would be able to reach an agreement on the bill, which...
Two Virginia senators are asking for a “clear and transparent” General Assembly investigation into alleged wrongdoing by the Virginia Parole Board, which is under scrutiny for failing to follow state law and its own procedures by releasing violent offenders without properly notifying victims’ families or the prosecutors who represent the...
A dental hygienist who says she was fired by the Virginia Department of Corrections after a body scanner detected she was wearing a tampon can proceed with a sex discrimination lawsuit against the state, a federal judge ruled this week. The employee, Joyce Flores, alleged she was interrogated for hours...
Virginia lawmakers gave final passage to legislation abolishing the death penalty Monday, sending the bill to Gov. Ralph Northam, who has said he'll sign it. Northam's signature would make Virginia the first state in the South and the 23rd in the nation to end capital punishment. "This legislation says a lot...
Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler, D-Virginia Beach, decided there was a problem that needed fixing after hearing what was happening to her fellow real estate agents, whose work requires publicizing a cell phone number. Because the state already has a law against indecent exposure, she thought, there should be an equivalent ban...